What happens to big-screen Star Wars movies after The Rise of Skywalker? That’s been a question on everyone’s mind since Solo failed to wow at the box office and Lucasfilm started announcing a long string of Star Wars-related TV projects for the upcoming Disney+ streaming app. Would Star Wars move away from the cinemas for the time being, or would things continue on as normal, even with the saga films coming to a close?
It turns out, a bit of both. Disney announced this week that there are three more Star Wars movies coming to the big screen starting December 16, 2022. That’s a full three years after The Rise of Skywalker, which gives Lucasfilm plenty of time to breathe before leaping into their next post-Skywalker-era adventure. But what will these three new movies be about and who’s working on them?
Here’s everything we know for sure about the upcoming Star Wars films and what we can piece together.
Rian Johnson, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss are working together
The Last Jedi was a divisive film, but before it was even released, Lucasfilm announced that its director, Rian Johnson, had pitched a new trilogy set in the galaxy far, far away—one that didn’t touch the story of the Skywalker era whatsoever. Shortly after Johnson’s trilogy was officially announced, Lucasfilm also dropped the news that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were also working on a new series of Star Wars films. (Although theirs was never described as a trilogy.)
Initial reports stated that these projects were separate from one another, but that tune changed recently. At Star Wars Celebration in Chicago this April, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy dropped the news that Johnson, Benioff, and Weiss were working together to develop their film projects.
“As [Benioff and Weiss] finish Game of Thrones, they’re going to segue into Star Wars,” Kennedy told Entertainment Weekly at the fan event. “They’re working very closely with Rian.”
She also noted that the films won’t necessarily take the same shape we once assumed. “We’re not just looking at what the next three movies might be, or talking about this in terms of a trilogy,” Kennedy explained. “We’re looking at: What is the next decade of storytelling?”
Considering the fact that Disney just announced the next decade of Star Wars films, it appears that the three creators might be working on new era of films that is neither a trilogy nor, necessarily, one continuous story.
They might be tackling the Knights of the Old Republic
Also at Celebration, Kennedy excitedly hinted that Lucasfilm was working on a Knights of the Old Republic project.
“You know, we talk about that all the time,” Kennedy told MTV News regarding a possible KOTOR adaptation. “Yes, we are developing something to look at.”
For those unfamiliar, Knights of the Old Republic was a role-playing game series that told the story of a battle between the Jedi and Sith, and is set thousands of years before the events of the Skywalker era. The game was never an official part of canon, but elements from it have been adapted into the lore of The Clone Wars cartoon series.
Because KOTOR is set so deep in the past, it could fit the qualifications of Johnson’s trilogy. It also deals significantly with the myth of the Jedi, something Johnson showed a particular interest with in The Last Jedi. Benioff and Weiss are also used to lore, considering their work on the layered fantasy world of Game of Thrones.
A better bet is that the three could be developing a new-canon timeline that is loosely inspired by KOTOR, not a direct adaptation of it.
They could be weaving two new series together
It seems highly unlikely that the announced films are only coming from either Johnson or Benioff and Weiss. They’re scheduled until 2026, which means that if they are working on separate series, one set of creators wouldn’t get a release date on their project for almost a decade. That doesn’t sound right to us. If they really are working on wholly different series, maybe the release dates reflect a weaving of both projects. The first of Johnson’s films comes out the first year, then the first of Benioff and Weiss’ the second, etc.
Regardless of how it plays out, if the three are collaborating on the next era, it seems likely that all of their projects will be set in the same timeline. If Lucasfilm is indeed trying to expand beyond the era it has adhered so closely to for over 40 years now, we imagine they’ll either be going into the deep future of the lore, or looking far ahead into the future.
We’ll keep you posted as we learn more. For now, we’re just excited that we get to revisit our favorite galaxy far, far away on the big screen so soon.
Images: Disney, Lucasfilm, Electronic Arts